Yes, we all know it’s ‘the most important meal of the day’ but… do you eat breakfast?
I admit that for a long time, I did not. Mostly because I am not much of a morning person. Still not. When I did start eating breakfast, it was more like, grab a Special K bar before heading out the door. Even now, I’m not a huge breakfast fan unless it involves my sister’s oatmeal pancakes or a nice crab cakes benedict (anything with poached eggs really).
The issue with breakfast is I want something that’s energizing, not too filling, and of course yummy. These days, my very fancy breakfast usually consists of anything that’s easy to grab-and-go like these oatmeal applesauce blueberry muffins (which I waxed poetics about in my NY Diet). These muffins are the perfect on-the-go, nutritious breakfast. Seriously, I love these. I even eat them as a sweet treat after dinner. Bake a batch over the weekend then refrigerate them so you’ll be sure to have breakfast all during the week… if they last that long.
Oatmeal Blueberry Applesauce Muffins
adapted from Joy the Baker
- 1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
- 1 ¼ cups oats
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- ½ cup low-fat buttermilk (I used soymilk)
- ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
(1) Preheat oven to 375° F. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper cases or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
(2) In a large bowl combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
(3) In a medium bowl whisk together the applesauce, milk, sugar, oil, egg and vanilla.
(4) Make a well in dry ingredients and add applesauce mixture. Stir until just moist. As with most batters, it’s better to not overmix; a few lumps of flour are fine.
(5) Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full (about ¼ cup).
(6) Bake for 16-18 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes before taking out and cooling on a wire cooling rack.
Makes 12 muffins
I love nymag.com and their weekly The New York Diet section is one of my favorites. Basically, celebrities (mostly foodies/chefs) dish on their culinary consumptions of the past week. It’s like a food diary for the famous, which I find utterly fascinating. Mostly because I like the way it’s presented. It’s very sparse (no pictures) with the entries candidly dictated in each person’s own voice. Also, you can tell a lot about a person by what they eat, and I’m just nosy enough to care.
When someone like Mario Batali or Anthony Bourdain writes, it’s a foodie’s paradise (hotdogs at Papaya Grey, mozzarella tastings, 14 course menus) but when the occasional actress/model writes something like ‘I had a salad and a handful of dried fruit for lunch, then I got home and was so tired I didn’t have dinner’… the commenters go crazy!! What’s worse is when a model says ‘For breakfast, I had McDonald’s and then later a huge cheeseburger and chocolate shake for lunch.’ Man, those comments are golden…
So inspired by this, I thought I’d write my own NY Diet. Because I may not be famous but I do live in New York and I eat, which to me seems like enough criteria. Here is my completely candid New York Diet:
Every morning, I’d love to have a nicely prepared hot breakfast. But you know what I love even more? My bed. I am NOT a morning person so I tend to keep it super light in the early hours. Plus I walk 25 minutes everyday to work so I prefer waiting to have something more substantial once I get there. This morning I had to get up even earlier to stop by the post office and mail my brother Ben’s birthday present and card (his birthday is this Friday). It’s hard being his favorite sister.
When I got to work I had a bottle of ‘green juice’ (that I get at Trader Joe’s) and an oatmeal applesauce blueberry muffin (I’d made a dozen the night before
After work, I went to the gym and then ran some errands. Ok, not really errands. I went shopping at the new Anthropologie store that just opened three blocks from my apartment. I needed to check it out. Another lie. I had already gone to the store the day before… this is getting to be quite confessional. When I finally did get home (did I buy anything or not? oh, you’ll never know), I prepared a tofu taco salad with some blue corn tortilla chips which I ate while watching The Biggest Loser (no new episodes of Glee or New Girl?). I also had a pink grapefruit and another oatmeal blueberry muffin before calling it a night.
Another morning, another green juice at work. Then later another mid-morning muffin (3 down, only 9 left to go). This week has been quite busy with different surveys and events going on in the museum. It’s a bit more chaotic than usual but honestly I’ll take being over-busy than underwhelmed any day. But I’m a nerd.
For lunch I had a veggie burger (Trader Joe’s masala burger with edamame hummus– a winning combo) and water of course, lots of water throughout the day. I try to pack my own lunch to work, not that our staff cafeteria is awful, just that my coworker found a bug in her escarole that one time. It’s just safer this way.
Later in the afternoon I had a cup of Lady Grey tea by Twinings- basically Earl Grey but with a hint of citrus which I guess makes it for ladies. After work, a few coworkers and I went to City Bakery to celebrate the last day of their February Hot Chocolate Festival. The Hot Chocolate of the Day was Leap Day Chocolate aka “Black Strap Rum reduced with Cinnamon.” Um yes please, I’ll take a wee shot-sized cup of that. It was super rich and decadent but the homemade marshmallow is what made it!
After my hot chocolate shot, I headed to my friend Anne Larimer’s to watch the Top Chef Finale. On my way there, I stopped by Whole Foods in Columbus Circle to get dinner from the salad bar (which is the best). I got what my sister Christine calls ‘frou-frou’ foods, you know, super healthy, hippie things like farro salad and kale with lemon zest and shredded beets with sprouts. While I was there I also stopped by Bouchon Bakery to pick up a few French macarons (which have become ‘the new cupcakes’) to share with Anne Larimer. Bouchon’s macarons are my favorite cause they’re so much larger than the usual dainty ones. Plus I love Thomas Keller. I got the pistachio, caramel, passion fruit, and coffee. General consensus: pistachio was the winner.
You know the drill. Green juice and Mr. Muffin.
Lunch was what I call a ‘vegetarian cobb salad’: romaine lettuce, chickpeas, hard boiled egg, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, basically whatever else I had in my fridge with balsamic vinaigrette. The day was pretty hectic so I had a very quick lunch but it was just what I needed! Late afternoon I also had a Luna bar (Nutz over Chocolate).
In the evening, there was an event at the Met in celebration of the new Islamic Galleries that opened last November. My co-worker friend Katherine has been hard at work organizing the event and I was working part of it as well. Also, I just love attending any party at the Met whenever I can– it’s one perk I always take full advantage of! There was some food at the event but by the time I was done working, the vultures had already had at it. So I basically had a couple glasses of red wine for dinner, which is not as sad as it sounds (Yes it is). The event was fantastic though! Afterwards my friends and I got drinks at a nearby pub.
Green juice, banana, and… yep you guessed it. Muffin-town.
Lunch was the salad bar at work (no escarole that day). Mostly mixed greens with lentils, orzo and a yummy parmesan polenta square. And some fresh pineapple on the side. Then later in the afternoon I was feeling particularly ladylike so I had a cup of Lady Grey.
Friday evening was a bit hectic. I had plans to go see the play War Horse at 8p but I didn’t leave work until about 7:15p. Luckily, Lincoln Center is not far from work so I just zipped in a cab and crossed Central Park. I ate a Luna bar (Chocolate Dipped Coconut) while waiting in the lobby for my friends to get there. Afterwards, we went across the street to P.J. Clarke’s. I was starving so I ordered the moules frites. It was exactly what I was expecting, just classic.
Sleeping in is a luxury I enjoy thoroughly on Saturdays. Woke up closer to lunchtime and had a banana and apple cinnamon oatmeal with a splash of soymilk. Ate this while rewatching the Season 4 finale of Mad Men (I’m highly anticipating the new season).
It’s such a beautiful New York day today. Maybe I’ll head down to the farmer’s market in Union Square… or maybe I’ll just watch some more Mad Men. Who knows, regardless muffins will probably be involved.
For a truly hilarious The New York Diet, read The Daily Show Wyatt Cenac’s entry here.